Seeking the advice of a Fel woman

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Liathene
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Seeking the advice of a Fel woman

#1 Post by Liathene » Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:58 am

Liathéne took the first cautious steps into the Hatherford Inn, looking around to make sure she remembered each face. It took only a few seconds for a set of familiar eyes to lock onto hers.
The elf smiled politely, almost politely, and rose from her comfortable seat, placing her book neatly on the table beside her.
“Welcome to Tide’s Inn” the Innkeeper told Liathéne, looking with her towards the other elf. He recognized now that she was not there for anything he could provide.
Liathéne approached the elf hesitantly, still feeling that she might change her mind any second, but she saw no other option. Her heart was racing, telling her to run, still, after all these years and all that she had learnt.

She stood for just a fraction too long trying to find the strength to begin speaking.
“Welcome to Hatherford, Kal’dorei. How may I be of service?” The elf spoke with a soft, warm voice and perfect cadence.
Liathéne, on the other hand, could not conceal her unease. When she replied, her voice would not carry its usual tone, and began with a slight stutter that was outside of her control. Pitiful, she thought to herself. “I c-come to seek a miss Czele…”
“You have come to the right place, then. What brings you to me?”
“I fear it’s not something for… here” Liathéne looked into the pair of eyes that caused her so much fear in the past, and she felt small and feeble. She hated herself for even having thought of doing this. I should have known, she thought, that I wouldn’t be strong enough to keep this on a business level.
Czele nodded simply and gestured for Liathéne to go upstairs with her, and they walked in silence. Liathéne understood why Czele would have her walk ahead, but every corner she turned she still felt more uneasy. On their way up the first flight of stairs, Czele nodded to a large man standing about the sitting area of the inn. He knew what to do.

The two elven women sat down opposite each other at a small table at the far end of the hall, their demeanours being polar opposites of one another.
“Might we begin with introductions, then? You seem to know something of me, of course…” Czele began.
Liathéne nodded, replying in just more than a whisper. “Yes, I’m… I’m Liathéne, of… of Starlight.”
“Ah, yes, then I know who you are. Your business here?” Czele said, raising an eyebrow and leaning back in her chair.
Liathéne found her voice, just barely, and began: “Well… I understand you know how to work with certain magics that are not… looked well upon, and well… some friends of mine have come into trouble with someone… dangerous. I’m seeking knowledge… or help… to know how to defeat this person.”
Czele tilted her head, her face set in an expression that might be interpreted by some as amused.
“I’ve come to understand that he may be a type of person that is not easily killed by… conventional methods, and it’s very important that if we kill him that he... stays dead” Liathéne concluded, frowning.
“That is a predicament indeed” Czele replied. “And you seek access to my books? Advice?”
“I’m actually not entirely sure, I guess that’s the problem.”
Czele’s expression changed, it now seemed closer to tired than amused.
“I know his name, and I know that some people call him a mind mage… but he uses demons, so I’m pretty sure you would recognize his magics. And I… I need to find a way to kill him proper, quickly” Liathéne was more serious by the end of the sentence. This part she was sure of. She would go very far indeed to make sure he died before he could seek his next target.
“Do correct me if I am wrong” Czele began, “But you have come to me, knowing of my magics, to seek a way to destroy someone quite like myself. Considering my history with your friends, not to mention your part in that, one could excuse me for being cautious.”
Liathéne’s eyes widened. Czele knew a lot more than she had been aware of. Liathéne stammered her way into the next sentence “I know… I know this looks bad, but… I’d have never sought your help if I could think of another way. This man he… he is coming for us”
“And I am to take it you are more afraid of him than of me?” Czele let forth a smile that was barely allowed to exist, but still changed her expression just enough to make the blue of her eyes seem to burn brighter.
Liathéne straightened her back and made real eye contact for the first time. She had asked herself this same question several times on the way here and she knew the answer too well. “Yes and no. I consider him an immediate and serious threat to the safety of my friends of Starlight, but I have reason to believe you may be powerful enough to investigate him or even… even defeat him. That’s why I came to you.”
“This reason being?” Czele seemed, for once, genuinely curious.
“When we had him surrounded in a cave, he left his felguard to fight us while he escaped through a portal. We all survived. I think if it had been you… we would not have all made it out of there.”
Czele allowed the smile to form more properly. “That would depend how many of you I had to fight off, I am sure. But it is unlikely I would ever find myself in such a position.”
“You wouldn’t let yourself get surrounded?”
“I am always surrounded” Czele replied, chuckling at Liathéne, “however, I tend not to dwell in caves.”
Unsure as to whether Czele was trying to seem modest by not admitting her power, or if she was just unwilling to claim herself more powerful than someone who had escaped them, Liathéne dropped her point, looking down for a few moments.
“His name?”

As if at once, the two elves’ ears twitched, reaction to sounds coming from downstairs. They looked at each other. None made a comment, still listening.
The large man standing guard at the stairs was on his way up, and turned the corner.
“I ‘pologize Mistress. Some human girl downstairs sayin’ she’s Annie, here’ta read a book ‘bout illusions. Som’fin ‘bout breakin’ a spell. Wearing the Starlight tabard, too, an’ there’s a large, scary-lookin' cat with ‘er.”
“I see. Interesting.” Czele looked at Liathéne for a second, judging her reaction. She then stood up, and grabbed a nearby tome, passing it to the guard. “Give her this” she said, “and let her know she may read downstairs today.”
“As ya wish, Mistress.” The guard bowed and went on his way.

Czele turned to Liathéne, both elves had lowered their voices by now, seemingly by habit.
“Seems your friends are here.”
Liathéne had gone pale. She never thought the letter would reach Tikál this fast. She had been here half an hour, if that. Damn mages and their portals. Why were they never there when you needed them and always working when they shouldn’t?
“I… didn’t know how well this would go, and I might’ve left a note saying where I was going” she admitted point blank. No point lying.
“You thought I would hurt you?” Czele asked, not entirely expecting an answer.
The guard came back. “Mistress, she’s sayin’ she needs yer help with the spell.” He did not appear to have believed the excuse for a second.
“I shall be right there” Czele replied in a tone which said she was of the same mind, and the guard nodded and went away.
“They’re gonna drag me outta here. I didn’t ask if anyone else thought it was a good idea to ask for your help…” Liathéne’s voice was full of apology and shame.
Czele turned to Liathéne quickly. Her expression had returned to passivity, as had her voice. “Do you still request it?”
Liathéne nodded.
“Very well. I take it you realize my aid in such a matter will not come free?”
Liathéne nodded again.
“His name?”
“Fennelwald”
Czele raised an eyebrow, and came closer, holding out her hand. Liathéne knew she should not shake hands with this woman, but politeness told her to say goodbye with manners. As their skin touched, Liathéne felt a tiny sting inside her head, as though a hair had been plucked, had that hair been memory. Not knowing what she had given to Czele in that moment, feeble from exhaustion and worry, she simply looked back into the eyes she had feared for years. The eyes that had motivated her to seek her calling, to always grow stronger.
Czele nodded politely to her, muttering a short incantation as she turned to go downstairs.
“You will share any information you have with my associate. You will not have much time.”
An expression of confusion spread on Liathéne’s face just before it turned to fear as she was pulled through shadow and into… oh no. Not this.


[As Tikal, Syra and Anomen were there for the rest, I’ll stop the story here. 😊 ]

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Liathene
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Joined: Sat Jun 03, 2017 8:19 am

Re: Seeking the advice of a Fel woman

#2 Post by Liathene » Thu May 07, 2020 9:50 pm

"Ugh... fuck".
The muttered exclamation seemed less well considered than what would normally escape from this woman. Liathéne's ears twitched and she looked at the other elf. "Oh, you're awake! How do you feel?" she said.
"As though my brain has been ground into mince and I have had to reassemble it."
The two women locked eyes for only a moment, one set filled with worry and the other with irritation. Unable to form the picture just described, an amused smile formed on Liathéne's lips. Czele's expressed softened and she closed her eyes again.
"Sorry" Liathéne told her, "I have to make you eat and drink before you can go back to sleep. Otherwise your condition could deteriorate."
Czele sighed, but had no counter argument. The young healer was right. As she gathered herself to obey the order, she thanked the Kal'dorei for pulling her from the brink of death. Life had few points of interests to offer at this stage, however recently, she had seen hope in a young acquaintance. There may be a way to rectify this last mistake.
"Is everything alright?" Liathéne asked.
Czele met her eyes with a question. The food? She nodded. "Yes, thank you."
"Any requests for breakfast tomorrow?" A sweet smile accompanied the question.
"You, dear, are too much of a people-pleaser." Czele raised an eyebrow at her.
"Maybe that's why I have friends?" the Kal'dorei suggested half-sarcastically and grinning.
A whisper of a chuckle escaped the warlock. "Point."
They were quiet for a minute.
"Tea?" Czele suggested.
Liathéne looked off to her side at nothing in particular. Hm. Shit. "I think we're out, but I can go buy more."
"Thank you, that would be lovely."

As a day passed, and then another, the warlock grew stronger again. She was not entirely pleased with being where she was, but she readily admitted it was preferable to the healer's tent. Questions would be asked which she was not interested in answering.
Between the women, however, no questions were censored any longer. Neither had been in a situation to afford it for the last weeks, and though they had both at times been tempted to kill the other, time had (quite unusually) solved that issue.
Strangely, many of the most basic questions had been asked thus far.

"So, then" Czele began, pouring another cup of tea, "You were the one to suggest that I was a spy..."
Liathéne blinked. Seeing an amused look in the warlock's eye, she took a deep breath and nodded. "I'm still not sure you aren't, but the officers decided at one point it was... unlikely."
Czele laughed. "Unlikely. Yes well, there are worse things to be accused of."
"Why did you join the Horde?" Liathéne wondered out loud.
"I had..." Czele looked away for a moment. "After the Light was no longer with me, I was alone for quite some time. Being a lone warlock comes with a set of challenges, you can imagine."
Liathéne nodded.
"For someone such as myself, it is not the loneliness which presents the greatest problem. However, the lack of a safe space to study and write will be a source of great frustration."
"Frustration?" An eyebrow was raised.
"I will gladly murder someone to get access to a library."
"You know you're actually evil, right?"
"Dearest Lia, I am many things but a fool is not one of them. We may have a disagreement on what constitutes evil, however."
Liathéne seemed disinclined to follow this reasoning.
"Yes, within your moral compass, I am evil. No matter. I was without library for a number of years. Along comes the Horde, happy to accept a wandering elven warlock with a knack for potions and a request for access to books, ink and parchment." She shrugged at the young druid, whose mouth fell open.
"You joined because the let you into the library?"
"You make it sound as though I had options at the time. I have drifted between factions and libraries for centuries, millennia, and never attached myself to any oath of loyalty to any set of principles beyond my own. I was never important enough for anyone to care when I drifted on because I never sought credit for anything. So when I drifted to the Horde, I expected nothing beyond a few years of shelter."
"But you worked with orcs. ORCS!"
"Yes, foolhardy creates who understand only short-term implications of their actions in cutting down half a continent of forest."
Liathéne blinked. "So we agree on that?"
"Of course."
"But then..."
"Elves are not much different, we merely live longer."
"Are you SERIOUS!?"
Czele held up a hand. There is no need to shout.
"The Quel'dorei followed their Queen to allow the demons entrance to our world, whom they had given promises of power. Not that she needed it."
".... Yes, and?"
"Millenia later the Quel'dorei were then, all of them, exiled for continuing to engage in the Arcane. Even those few who had fought with the Kal'dorei resistance during the War of the Ancients." Simple facts, simple facts.
Liathéne nodded, narrowing her eyes.
"But the Kal'dorei were never bad, is that what you are thinking?"
"Kind of, yeah" Liathéne shrugged.
"The Kal'dorei empire was the single most powerful force on Azeroth for quite some time. Their rule was impressive indeed. Highly militaristic, highly divided in ranks and stature. Along come the gentle teachings of the druids. It is rare to find such harsh punishments for lapses of control, mishaps, minor mistakes or even accidents..." Czele took a sip of tea, waiting to see if the druid would indeed rip off a limb.
"What do you mean?"
"Have you ever studied traditional Kal'dorei law, young druid?"
The response was one of silently calling to Elune for patience.
"You should not take my word for it, then. Study when you find the time, you will see what I am referring to."
The druid decided it was a good time for more tea to distract herself. Czele continued.
"In elves, as with humans, orcs or any other race, the greatest fault that exists is the desire for power. Power to rule, to control, to subdue. They all want it and none understand the price."
The druid frowned and nodded, this they agreed on.
"We may blame orcs all we like for cutting down Kalimdor's beauty, but we may never think ourselves better. Elves have waged wars against each other long before the Arcane and the Legion tore Azeroth apart, and since. We think them short-sighted because of their shorter lifespans, but we neglect to keep in mind our own past mistakes. Ones that have surely done greater damage."

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